Cast of Characters (Go Here First if you are New)

I realize that from time to time I do get new followers who might sometimes feel like they are picking up a book in the middle.  I made the decision to keep myself hidden behind a thin veil of anonymity but as it is necessary to discuss real events that involve real people, I decided to give some recurring characters names so that you could tell them apart.  I should point out that none of these names was given in a mean spirited way.

  1.  Z – my main instructor for over 8 years who taught me a lot and introduced me to Showcase and also took me to my first comps and larger events.  She is also my ex-instructor as our relationship turned toxic and it took me forever to catch on that our personalities did not mesh and taking lessons with her was causing all kinds of internal conflict.  As she is married to the owner, she remains at the studio which is awkward from time to time.
  2. OwnerGuy – the franchisee and owner of the Famous Franchise studio I attend.  Generally a good guy although he does seem to have eyes in the back of his head as he watches and comments on things that happen on lessons.  I may have called him the Eye of Sauron at one point.
  3. The Body Double – my first instructor after Z and someone who helped reignite my passion for ballroom.  She got the name because there was one lesson Z was sick so she still taught but I danced with the Body Double as a stand in.  Our personalities just meshed and she helped me get over some of my personal space issues.  Had she stayed, I think we would have been a formidable couple but, alas, she got married and her husband was promoted to a job that required relocation.
  4. Kid T – my current instructor who grew up dancing since her Mom owned the studio my wife and I started at.  OwnerGuy was mere InstructorGuy at that time.  She’s very young and talented and we just finished a successful Showcase.  There is more needed to make the partnership work but she is still a better fit than Z.
  5. 3 of 3 – another former instructor who loved country dances and worked with me a little bit.  Our biggest achievement was doing a routine to Drunk on a Plane at a Showcase which also allowed me to do a little performing since we had a little “intro” before breaking into the dance.  She was great fun and easy to work with but, again, a transfer by her husband meant she had to move out of town.
  6. The Statue – another former instructor who actually started as a student shortly after the studio opened.  She got the name from her ability to hit poses during dancing and because the term “statuesque” described her perfectly.  We did a country waltz routine at a Showcase which was fun but her teaching style annoyed me quite a bit.  She left for reasons of her own although word on the street was she and Z didn’t get along and she may have gotten fed up with taking crap from Z.
  7. M-Dawg – yet another former instructor but a guy this time.  Also very young and came from teaching hip hop and he is quite talented at that.  Loved his energy and enthusiasm.  But he decided teaching ballroom was not for him so he lasted only a short time.
  8. Lady Gator – (Still not sold on this name yet)  The newest instructor.  Have not had a lot of interaction with her so she has not factored into any major story lines so far.  Update: Now an ex-employee at the Famous Franchise so I guess I don’t need to worry about changing the name
  9. Tex – (could also be called the Cash Cow) – another obsessed student who has the ballroom fever in a big way.  He was The Statue’s main partner until she left and then he and Z started dancing together when our relationship blew up.  He takes a metric crap ton of lessons and has never met an event he isn’t interested in going to.  He’s got it in his head that he wants to win so he videos everything and practices a lot.  Problem is that he’s got a lot to keep track of and you can still see him thinking and counting while he is dancing.
  10. Hilde – a newer student who is probably the exact opposite of me.  I’m the reserved introvert and she’s just out there with no filters.  All noise and movement.  Yet, she gets me to do things like our flamingo pose in the upcoming formation at Showcase.  You could say she’s a catalyst.  She has since moved on but we now have dance dates at a different studio.
  11. My Designated Cha-Cha Partner – OK, that’s an awkward name and I’ll have to fix that.  She’s another student who started with her husband just after the studio opened.  He hates the Cha-Cha, so at every practice party, he would practically throw her my way whenever a Cha-Cha came on.  We still seek each other out for the first Cha-Cha at parties.  Unfortunately, her husband has had some health problems so he isn’t dancing anymore but she still takes lessons and comes to parties so we dance more than Cha-Cha now.
  12. England Dan – minor character.  He and his wife take lessons but they are that couple that spends 99% of the time at parties dancing with each other and they don’t go to any of the events.  He’s another joker/class clown type so when he’s in a group class, you know it will be entertaining.  He does throw in a Man’s Develope’ in a lot of dances even though there is no such step.
  13. Rocco the Wonder Dog – OK, he’s not really in the stories.  But he’s one of my dogs and he demanded a spot so there you go.
  14. Sunny – New female instructor who has talked me into doing Argentine Tango and Quickstep with her at the next Showcase.  It should be an interesting ride.  Well it certainly was that.  We did a nice Quickstep but she decided the Famous Franchise life was not for her and has since left the scene.
  15. Cosmo – New male instructor who transferred up her from a now defunct Famous Franchise location in a different part of our town.  Responsible for the craziness that will be the formation at Showcase.  Very skilled and a very nice person.  And also now a member of the ex-Famous Franchise team.  Left shortly after Sunny.
  16. Griff – Totally new male instructor who arrived at the same time as Cosmo.  I got back from vacation one day and they were both in group.  Not sure how long he will be a part of this program since he’s very quiet but I figured he deserved some billing.  And the update is that he lasted only a few months and was dismissed a week before Showcase even though he was part of the formation.
  17. Studio B – my second dance home where I now take lessons and sometimes attend parties.
  18. Mindy – my instructor at Studio B.
  19. Vanna – the latest new female instructor to come to the studio.  Seeks me out at parties.

List will be added and updated as needed (unless I get lazy and forget that this is there)